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Showing posts from 2009

My last fly of the decade

Tied my last fly of the year/decade this Hogmanay night and in the process completed the filling of my latest fly box. My intention was to fill a box with flies that would cover all circumstances for wild brown trout fishing in the highlands. I'm not sure if I can be brave enough to trek into the hills with one flee box. I will just have to be strong willed and realize that I will have more than enough patterns to cover all situations. I know that makes sense but I'm sure you can sympathise with me when I know for certain when it comes to the crunch I will tell myself that I had better take another box or two just in case.

The Clan Chief

I have been at the tying bench tonight tying up a few Clan Chiefs. This fly is a favourite of mine. It is a modern day traditional fly created by an Orcadian man,John Kennedy. it was originally designed by him for migratory fish. It also has a good reputation on the mainland for brown trout. Its creator was clearly inspired by the Kingsmill - Moore bumble patterns. This version I have tied tonight is a little bit over dressed as it was originally intended to be tied sparsely. I will let the trout decide.

Isle of Lewis

Last summer I went on my first ever fishing trip to the Isle of Lewis. Here is a slide show and a concise acccont of our splashing about in the Lochs over there. I finally managed to achieve what I have long been yearning to do – visit the Island of Lewis for the purpose of revelling in the delightful fishing locations the Island has to offer. My three friends, Peter, Tam, Scott and I arrived in Stornoway on Thursday the 6th of August in delightful weather. The plan for the next four days was a spot of sea fishing, on day one. Loch Bruaich Bheibheat for troot on day two. Day three on Loch an Fhir Mhaiol for troot and the chance of sea troot and salmon. Finally on day four Peter and I fished a Loch that I have been informed not to reveal. Tam and Scott went sea fishing again. Thursday 6th August. Once we had settled into our very nice but cramped bunkhouse accommodation at Laxdale Holiday Park, we assembled our sea fishing gear and set off for the coast near Calbost. In the rush of e

Hillend Loch Today

Had a wee look up at Hillend Loch today. It is very wintery looking indeed. The conditions today were quite apt for the sport of curling which in days gone by used to take place here I believe.

Loch Ericht

After visiting wintery Hillend today it reminded me of a fishing trip to Loch Ericht early last year. Here is an account of the trip I wrote once I had thawed out. My first serious fishing trip of the season got underway at 4am last Sunday morning. Our destination was to be the north end of Loch Ericht near Dalwhinnie. We wanted to be there for first light so hence the very early rise and journey up the A9. The trip up was uneventful until we got to the roadworks at Balinluig as by the time we reached there the countryside had taken on a rather winery feel as the hills and fields had a light dusting of snow. Onward we drove but as we got further north the weather was really starting to get serious. The snow was falling and it was lying really deep, the road ahead just got treacherous and at times very dangerous. By the time we reached the Drummochter pass we were right in the middle of a blizzard. It got to the stage where we couldn’t see four feet in front of us and it was becoming

Loch Lundarva

With all this snow and loafing about the house, my thoughts have been turning to fishing trips past. This account of an outing in Lochaber from a couple of years ago helps build up my enthusiasm for the forthcoming 2010 season. Last Saturday morning me and my two friends Alex and Jim traveled north through four seasons in one morning up to the witch’s lair. This had nothing to do with Black Magic you understand, as the destination we were heading for, Loch Lundarva is reputed to be the lair of McBeth’s witches. There was no sign of sorcery or broomsticks as we made our way along snaking single track road from Fort William to Lundarva farm that has more ups and downs than Airdrie FC’s recent season. In fact we got a friendly welcome from the farmer and his wife who we met in the farmyard and purchased our permits from. They directed us to the parking area and the boat moorings beyond the farm and wished us luck. We arrived at the Loch which is set in a cauldron of hills with a fin

The Blether

As the current weather situation here in Scotland has put to bed any notion of a grayling outing to a river. I thought I would share a wee story about my fishing friend Colin, who sadly , is no longer with us. He’s not a boaster, my fishing friend, Colin. He might take a freshly caught trout down the pub and lay it out for display, but he’s not one to go on about it. Later in the evening, he’s happy to let the conversation change to subjects other than the circumstances of his catch, things such as the height of the water, it’s colour the fly he used, how many he lost and how many wee pulls he got. Alex the maggot drowner, calls Colin a fishing bore but I’ve always defended him. Its generosity in it’s self to share a precious angling moment with others. They don’t have to be anglers themselves, but of course as in all things, you do have to exercise some discretion. I’m not too sure about the hour and a half Colin spent telling the Owl and Trout arm wrestling team about the time he ca

Recommended Reading

May I bring to your attention two excellent books for your reading pleasure. I recently purchased Mike Harding's guide to North Country Flies at the British fly tying fair at Stoke. I was lucky enough to get Mike to sign a copy for me. Mike Harding, broadcaster, comedian and experienced fly fisherman, has written a guide to tying one of the most well-loved and beguiling traditions of fly, the Northern country Spider. These designs of fly, conceived around Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales, are renowned for being both simple to tie and excellent for catching fish. They are characterised by using brightly coloured silk threads and bird feathers. Mike Harding examines 140 classic Spider flies and explains how to tie them using step by step photographs. He also describes the history of the North Country tradition. This book is a must have for any lover of fishing and fly tying the spider style patterns. I know I have made good use of this book with my recently tied spiders which I

Merry Christmas

Festive merriment to one and all. Imagine my surprise this morning when I did not recieve one single Christmas pressie involving my favourite pastime, angling. It's not as if the red suited gentleman was not aware of my wishes as I did inform him of my wishes by way of a letter. I would like to share this letter with you and warn everyone never to trust a man with a beard. Well its that time of year again when every fisherman has got to turn his thoughts to the very serious matter of what he wants for Christmas .Its not as easy as it first appears because the choice of game fishing accessories is quite bewildering these days. Difficult the choice may be, I’m sure that by way of this page, Val, oops, sorry I mean Santa will take the hint and get me what I want for Christmas. Now then there are various things I could be doing with, for a start I could do with a new pair of waders, The neopranes I have at the moment let in water like the lily burn rushing into the rizzer in full flow

Hillend Loch

Hillend Loch is a 350-acre loch lying halfway between Airdrie and Armadale. It was constructed in 1799 to supplement the Forth and Clyde canal system. The average depth of the loch is 8 feet, but the depth does drop to around 14 feet in the narrows between the Whitehill wood and the Braco wood. Feeding is rich in the loch and apart from the shoals of fry which abound here the underwater fodder includes snails, shrimps, nymphs of varying species, corixae and caddis. Above the surface the angling season will see hatches of hawthorn flies, chironomids, buzzers, daddies and sedges. There is plenty of space to fish around the loch no matter whether your preference is to wade and explore the little bays and weed beds along the shoreline or take a boat and float along some of the favoured drifts. The loch fishes well all over its expanse though I would recommend the bank angling at the following areas, The big moss, the wee moss, the braco burn area, the boathouse bay, the point of the woods,

Tying Flies

For the last two or three weeks I have being doing quite a bit of tying. I have been steadily filling up my favourite style of fly box. Its called a fox box. It holds over a hundred flies and is a perfect size for fitting into a fishing jacket pocket. One side of my box is filled with North Country spiders which I intend to use a lot more next season. The other side is filling up nicely with traditional style flies such as zulus , Kates, dabblers and palmers etc etc.

Hot off the vice

As I am just starting out om my blogging career and attempting to build up my content I thought I would get underway by showing my latest flies to come from my vice. As time goes by I will be adding more and more patterns. Comment on them if you wish

You've got to start somewhere

Hi Folks I have just created this blog. Bare with me as I am a complete newcomer to Blogging. The main reason for creating this blog was that I needed somewhere to share my Fly fishing and flytying articles and photos. I am a memeber of Airdrie and District Angling Club. I fish Hillend Loch but like to fish up North in the Scottish Highlands when I can. During the winter I don't do much fishing. I concentrate on my other passion Flytying.To get the blog off and running I will try to fill these pages with pics and accounts of trips gone by as well as current ramblings and pics and of course examples of my time spent at my tying bench.